ESL, IEM and DreamHack partner with Twitter to livestream esports

The crowd at IEM Oakland. Patrick Strack/ESL

ESL, DreamHack and Twitter announced Thursday a partnership that will bring live streams of esports events to the social media platform this year.

According to a joint statement from the companies, more than 15 events will be streamed on Twitter in 2017, including Intel Extreme Masters Katowice on Saturday. DreamHack Austin in April will be the first DreamHack event streamed on the platform.

"We see this collaboration as a way to tap into the engaged audience of gamers that are already using Twitter as a primary source of content," Twitter chief operating officer Anthony Noto said in a statement. "By partnering with the leading esports companies like ESL and DreamHack, we look forward to bringing the best of esports live video and conversation together on Twitter."

This partnership continues Twitter's expansion of live sports coverage. The NFL, NHL and PGA Tour have begun live streaming partnerships with Twitter. Showtime Boxing partnered with Twitter for its Feb. 18 Championship Boxing triple-header, and Sky Sports hosted its Jan. 31 U.K. soccer deadline day coverage on Twitter as well. Other sports partners include the NCAA's Pac-12 Conference and the Patriot League.

"Esports fans are endemic to digital, and this partnership with Twitter expands ESL's reach for all of our major tournaments for fans around the globe," said Johannes Schiefer, ESL's vice president of social media and editorial. "Intel Extreme Masters Katowice is our most anticipated live event, and we are excited to bring premier content from this tournament and beyond to more fans in a premium experience."

ESL will also produce a weekly half-hour show that will be native to Twitter as part of its partnership. Every IEM and ESL tournament and every DreamHack event will be hosted on the site.

"Twitter is a very strong esports platform where many of our fans and followers already engage with DreamHack events," DreamHack CEO and President Marcus Lindmark said in the statement. "This will be a shortcut for fans, as they can both watch and engage on the platform at the same time."